Northumbria University beats Newcastle to be named coveted Times Higher Education University of the Year 2022

Northumbria University was praised for its ‘challenger’ status as it scooped the respected award.

Northumbria University has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2022.

The university has been commended for its transformation over the past decade to become a research-intensive institution and a 'challenger' to the country's most well-established higher education establishments.

Northumbria University first set out an intention of becoming a "credible alternative to more established insitutions" in 2008 and evidence that was completed came in a Research Excellence Framework (REF) submitted in 2021.

In the REF 2021 results, Northumbria recorded the biggest rise in research power of any UK university for the second time, moving up 27 places to 23rd having previously risen to 50th in 2014, from 80th in 2008.

The judges also praised Northumbria University for not losing sight of its role within the city, drawing 40% of undergraduates under the age of 21 from widening participation backgrounds and placing as many graduates into highly skilled employment across the North-East as all the Russell Group institutions combined.

The Times Higher Education Panel said: “The scale of [Northumbria’s] ambition, the rigour and effectiveness with which it has been pursued, and its role in transforming lives and supporting its region all make it a deserving winner."

Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson, famous for her extraordinary Paralympic exploits, is Chancellor of Northumbria University and praised the changes that have been introduced at the university since taking the role.

She said: “When I was invited to become Chancellor at Northumbria there were two things that stood out. The first was the people, who are extraordinary, and the second was the level of ambition. It wasn’t about being a bit better, it was about being the absolute best they could be. Winning the THE University of the Year award recognises these qualities for all to see. It is amazing to be part of an institution where the vision has become a reality and I congratulate everyone at the University.”

Newcastle University was also shortlisted alongside Northumbria University for the THE University of the Year Award which marks the first time, outside of London, that two institutions from the same city have appeared on the same category for this prestigious award.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Kemp said: “This is an outstanding achievement for Northumbria and a recognition of its transformation and growth. It is also a clear signal of the strength in depth we now have in Newcastle for world-leading research and education. We are extremely proud that both universities made the shortlist for this important award. They are integral to this city’s success and together play a significant role, economically, socially and culturally, helping to make Newcastle a fair and inclusive place to live – and raising our profile on the global stage. Congratulations again to Northumbria on their win.”